Iran’s general prosecutor has hit back at a labor leader for two days in a row, saying there was no torture during his detention and he has lied “to cover-up his crimes”.
Mohammad Javad Montazeri did not say what crimes the labor leader is accused of, except a vague reference to membership in illegal organization, without providing details. He was speaking on state television on Tuesday.
Esmail Bakhshi, a worker at the Haft-Tapeh sugar mill in southern Iran led protests for unpaid wages in October-November 2018 and was arrested along with other workers. After his release from prison he accused intelligence ministry agents of torture.
Initially, his accusations created a wave among Islamic Republic officials, many promising to investigate the matter.
But government officials and the hardline judiciary changed tact once the uproar died down and now is not only denying the accusation of torture but pointing the finger at the labor activist as a criminal.
International human rights organizations and United Nations bodies have accused Iran of prisoner rights violations and torture on many occasions, but Tehran insists it does not violate universal rules.